A mate sent me the above link. He has been on the road for 8 years and finally been given a Government Housing Commission home for his wife and 6 kids. I was in a government housing for 16 years when I became ill and finally walked off the property after houses around me were being burnt, pools of blood from stabbings were left at my front gate. I could go on and on about neighbors with domestic abuse and drug selling but I wont.
Ive been traveling for 5 years now and just find it interesting that I know people with full time employment that can not get a housing loan, the rental prices are through the roof and caravan parks are at maximum capacity.Van life that was once considered trendy is now becoming a way of life for many that can not afford to live any other way. I sold my caravan and brought the Sprinter because I never wanted to stay in another caravan park again after the last few experiences. I no longer talk to people when traveling when in an area for more than a few days now so as not to attract drama.
So the federal government solution is to make housing unaffordable to purchase and if you can get a loan your paying if off for the rest of your life, the state government makes it so you cant afford to rent even if you can find a place to rent and when your forced to live in your vehicle the local government turfs you out of using and parking around amenity blocks.Social housing is a 10 year wait and usually puts you into another class of hell altogether that becomes hard to escape from once your in it, that many I know can attest to.
On my last trip I barely spoke to anyone for the last month of traveling, especially the normal’s. The few people I did talk to weren’t classed as middle class Australians. I ran out of cash for a while and grabbed some meals from the local housing co-op in Burnie. All nice people and ended up doing a weeks voluntary work there in the gardens. On the ferry home I started talking to a guy two seats up who had a tattooed head and a D-shackle through the nose. One of the nicest people I met on the whole trip.
However the most interesting conversation I have had in a very long time was with a homeless dude in a park. I like to move the van during the day and go back to a good spot of a night so it doesn’t appear your there all the time and moved down the coast to wait for the ferry home at a small parkland. This guy had set up his sleeping bag on a park bench and was saying hello to everyone that passed by. I passed him on my walk to rehab the leg when he spoke to me and we ended up chatting for the next 3 hours.
He talked of his childhood, how he lived now, his camp in the shrubbery a few hundred meters away where no one could see him, how he found food, the drug problems in that state and the areas to stay away from. I gave him one of my spare military surplus blankets. I couldn’t have slept out rough with the sleeping bag he was using. I eventually had to sit down and rest back at the van and decided to take off but returned shortly after. He thought I didn’t want to say goodbye however I brought him a pack on chicken honey and soy kebabs for the bbq that he hanged around getting left overs from picnickers. I hadn’t seen him eat all day and wanted to know he had something in his stomach before I left to go on the ferry a few hours later. That conversation changed my life in many ways.
The one thing that stands out the most was his perception of me. After talking for a short while he said he was a little taken aback when I stopped to talk. As most people either ignored him or would just nod to his greetings. However he said I looked like someone that would walk up and talk to anyone and wasn’t afraid of anything from my demeanor. I cracked up laughing because I told him I was in pain most of the time, could barely walk and had trouble breathing after the pneumonia and had lost 5 kilo when in Tasi. I still smile when I think of it. I hope he is doing well.